Three SA Schools representatives from 2016 have been named in the SA Rugby Sevens Academy Under-18 team that will travel to Namibia later this week to play in the Capricorn Group Windhoek Gymnasium Rugby Sevens Festival.
Rikus Pretorius, Janco van Heyningen (both Free State) and Mark Snyman (Golden Lions) represented South Africa in last year's Under-19 International Series against England, Wales, France and Italy. Pretorius, who was named captain, played for SA Schools and Van Heyningen and Snyman for the SA Schools A-side in the same series.
They will now get the opportunity to show off their skills in the shorter version of the game, when the South Africans take on the national teams of Germany, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia in the tournament that will be played on 3 and 4 March in Windhoek. The Festival was arranged to form part of the inauguration of the school's new Rhino Turf rugby field, the first synthetic field in the country.
SA Rugby Sevens Academy Manager, Marius Schoeman, said the squad has lots of potential and should give good account of themselves.
“We are continuously looking at the emerging talent at schoolboy level, so that we can fulfil our role as feeder to the Springbok Sevens side,” said Schoeman.
“Tournaments such as these are very valuable, because it does give us the opportunity to see how the boys react in match situations. There are some serious talent at this level and I think these players will show that.”
Schoeman will be assisted by former Blitzbok captain, Paul Delport.
"We had a good training camp over the last couple of days and the boys responded well to the demands of the sevens code,” said Delport.
“There is already a good bond amongst them and that will make things easier for us when we face the other countries in Windhoek.
“We are mindful of the fact that these boys are all at school and want to thank those schools for granting them time off to play in this tournament.”
The SA Rugby Sevens Academy Under-18 team is:
- Pepsi Buthelezi (Durban High School)
- Sanele Nohamba (Vice-captain, Durban High School)
- Sebastiaan Jobb (Duineveld)
- Mark Snyman (Helpmekaar College)
- Rikus Pretorius (captain, Grey College)
- Janco van Heyningen (Grey College)
- Angelo Davids (Stellenberg)
- Qamani Kota (Welkom Gymnasium)
- Ruben Beytell (EG Jansen)
- Muzi Nyakane (Ben Vorster)
- Henco Martins (Paarl Gymnasium)
- Marnus Potgieter (Affies)
- Henk Cilliers* (Grey College)